Reconciliation and NCCIE

Shining a Light on Education for Reconciliation

The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, points to education as the key to reconciliation, stating, “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.”

With a mandate to support and encourage a strong national presence for collaboration in Indigenous education across Canada, NCCIE.CA is meant to support this key element of reconciliation – education. NCCIE.CA serves as the gateway for educators across the country – and anyone interested in Indigenous education and reconciliation, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to share and learn from one another.

As articulated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report (2015), Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, “Too many Canadians still do not . . . understand that . . . we are all Treaty people.” What does it mean to be a Treaty person? How can we, as individuals whether we are Indigenous or non-Indigenous, learn about and respect this nation-to-nation relationship?

One of the aims of the NCCIE is to support efforts to reconcile this gap in people’s educations and to explore these questions by providing a forum to share learning experiences intended for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners of all ages and in all classrooms (both indoor and outdoor). These educational programs are distinctly Indigenous and are presented from Indigenous perspectives.

Through NCCIE.CA, the Centre aligns well with the TRC Calls to Action that correlate with education (Calls 6-12), language and culture (Calls 13-17), and more (visit: NCTR Calls to Action).

First, the NCCIE acknowledges the holistic nature of Indigenous education by 1) respecting that Indigenous education occurs throughout life, including early childhood learning, K-12, post-secondary, and community- and land-based learning, and 2) recognizing that education of Indigenous peoples occurs in all places and is as old as the land, integrating language, culture, and traditional knowledge with history, science, medicine, life skills, the arts, law, living in balanced relationship (sustainability), and more.

Second, NCCIE.CA celebrates the diversity of Indigenous education across the country, shedding light on innovative and effective programs that are deserving of equitable support as called for by the TRC.

Over time, the NCCIE library aims to grow to include a wide array of Indigenous educational programs and experiences suitable for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students everywhere and of all ages. For example, you will be able to view stories about:

  • vocational training programs for employment of Indigenous peoples, responding to Call 7.
  • student support and success services that work to help Indigenous students stay in school and graduate, responding to Calls 9 and 10.ii.
  • effective strategies for “closing the gap” (Call 10.i.),
  • providing culturally appropriate curricula and programming (Call 10.iii.),
  • protecting and teaching Aboriginal languages (Call 10.iv. and 14.iii., 14.iv., and 14.v.),
  • involving parents and community members in teaching their children (Call Numbers 10.v. and 10.vi.),
  • and more.

The NCCIE encourages direct communication among and between educators and practitioners. In its aim to further reconciliation objectives, NCCIE.CA connects educators with each other so people can reach out, build relationships, and learn directly from one another, breaking down barriers and working to dissolve stereotypes.

The TRC Final Report observes, “For Canadians from all walks of life, reconciliation offers a new way of living together.” The NCCIE shines a light on education as a pathway to reconciliation for people of all ages, offering Canadians “from all walks of life . . . a new way of living together” to build lasting, respectful relationships today and for future generations.

Listen to Students, Elders, and faculty at First Nations University of Canada reflect upon how education has helped them stop the cycle of trauma.
Listen to Willie Ermine talk about reconciliation from an Indigenous perspective.
Learn more about the TRC Calls to Action and NCCIE.